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Jed Macosko

Associate Professor of Physics

More information

  • Cell Mechanics
  • Thermodynamics
  • Biophysics
  • Protein Structure and Function
  • Drug Discovery
  • Biophysics
  • Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics
  • General Physics
  • Mechanics
  • Molecular Machines
Selected Publications
  • Todd L. Fallesen, Jed C. Macosko, and G. Holzwarth. “Measuring the number and spacing of molecular motors propelling a gliding microtubule.” PHYSICAL REVIEW
  • William Kerr and Jed C. Macosko. “Thermodynamic Venn diagrams: sorting out forces, Fluxes, and Legendre transforms” AMERICAN JOURNAL of PHYSICS Accepted (2011)
  • Todd L. Fallesen, Jed C. Macosko, and G. Holzwarth. “Force-Velocity Relationship for multiple kinesin motors pulling a magnetic bead.” European Biophysical Journal
  • Gassman NR, Nelli JP, Dutta S, Kuhn AM, Bonin KD, Pianowski Z, Winssinger N, Guthold M & Macosko JC. “Selection of Bead-Displayed, PNA-encoded Chemicals” Journal of Molecular Recognition
  • Fallesen T, Hill DB, Steen M, Macosko JC, Bonin K, Holzwarth G. “Magnet polepiece design for uniform magnetic force on superparamagnetic beads” Review of Scientific Instruments.
  • BS, MIT
  • PhD, University of California, Berkeley

Jed Macosko is a leading physicist whose dedication to making science more appealing to middle-schoolers and masters’ candidates alike has been celebrated by other scholars and the White House. With research interests spanning biophysics, thermodynamics and drug discovery, Macosko helped develop a video game that teaches middle school students advanced cellular science, and more importantly, how to love it.

At the collegiate level, his efforts helped create the next generation electronic textbook, making college science courses more manageable for students. Additionally, his research published in the Journal of Molecular Recognition explained how technology developed at Wake Forest will slash years off the time it takes to develop drugs – bringing vital new treatments to patients much more quickly.

A passionate teacher-scholar, Macosko believes that in order to equip students for real-life, educators must intentionally stimulate problem solving, self-assessment, communication, and teamwork skills in their classes. He argues that competence in these areas, not just technical know-how or intellectual prowess, is what allows students to succeed as lifelong learners. His work has been published in Nature Reviews and the American Journal of Physics and his educational efforts have been featured in outlets such as Mashable, Yahoo! News, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Campus Technology and Wired.

Jed Macosko says:

On the importance of elementary science education …
“I’m convinced that America’s destiny depends on getting more kids fired up about science. To remain a world player, we must open up a new universe of ideas that inspire our children to pursue careers in the sciences.”

On the future of electronic textbooks …
“Print textbooks are a dying breed, but most current electronic alternatives aren’t any better at engaging and teaching students effectively. Research has shown that it’s much more effective for students to choose their own adventure, and successful textbooks of the future will do just that.”

On new methods of drug discovery …
“Current methods allow all available drugs to be screened against a single target, but screening thousands upon thousands of targets requires more sample, more time and more money than anyone has. The trick is to find a new method that miniaturizes the screening process to almost the level of single molecules. Going all the way to single molecule interactions opens up a whole new can of worms, but getting close to that level is where faster, cheaper drug discovery can really take off.”